Giving it another go (Critiques appreciated)

48 replies
So I've started putting together a blog as a way to bring some focus to my learning.

My goal is to learn more about marketing online as well as copywriting.

What I'm posting below is going to be my swipe file page. At first, it started as a rather bland page talking about the swipes and their uses and would eventually link to various swipes I've ran across and copied out for myself.

But after my last go round I decided I may as well use each page as a sort of letter in itself. To use each page as an actual practice for writing compelling copy.

Let me know what you think.

--------------------------------------------------------------

It’s Like Having A Master Copywriter In Your Back Pocket

Can you imagine what it would it be like to have uninterrupted access to some of the greatest copywriting minds in history? What could you accomplish if the masters were at your beck and call? With the Kings of Copywriting at your disposal, you can have the world hang on your every word while shoving fistfuls of dollars into your wallet.

That's what will happen when you use the information found on this page:
  • Do you wish you could have people stepping over themselves to send you money simply because you told them to in just the right way? Watch as the greats weave a web of words, turning the tightest wallet into the Niagara Falls of cash flowing straight to the bank.
  • Have you ever wondered what the gurus have that you don't? What makes them rake in sale after sale, seemingly with ease, while you struggle to get the few on your list to notice you exist? Learn how they craft letters allowing them to lead people into doing exactly as they say, when they say, making millions in the process.

Using the tools on this page, you'll learn to write in a way that will have people hanging onto your every word until you say "Buy Now". And they will.

Here's how.

Gary Halbert, considered by many as history's greatest copywriter, instructed his son to copy a series of letters by hand daily. It was his belief that doing so would help him learn how successful letters flow. Today, these types of letters are known as swipes.

So what are swipes, anyway?

They are collections of ads and letters that have found great success in the market place over the years. Ads and letters that have sold millions of dollars of products and services written by masters like Halbert, Joseph Sugarman, Robert Collier and more.

In other words, the best of the best of the best of the best. sir!

Letters like:
  • The Original Family Coat-Of-Arms
  • The Famous Dollar Bill Letter
  • The Tova Ad
  • The Amazing Blackjack Secret Of A Las Vegas Mystery Man
  • And many more

Copying letters such as these can have you crafting words that sell before you know it. It's especially important when you are beginning and don't yet have a style of your own. The idea isn't to memorize their style and imitate it exclusively. Instead, take these styles, or pieces of each, and combine them until you create your own unique flavor.

Your style may change over time, but it's what will make you, you. What will set you apart from the rest in a world of clones.

So take these swipes and start copying them now. You will be amazed at how quickly your writing will improve.

And if you run across anything that fits the mold (or better yet, shatters it), by all means let me know. I'd love to copy it out for practice and add it to the collection for others to learn from as well.

Enjoy,

Tracy
#appreciated #critiques #giving
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Let me know what you think.
    There's a huge disconnect.

    The article states that if a person writes great sales letters from the past out by hand, he or she will "learn to write in a way that will have people hanging onto your every word until you say 'Buy Now'."

    Before writing out swipes, wannabes should at least learn the basics of copywriting first: sales letter components, flow, and persuasion elements.

    Without knowing the basics, what you propose is like asking a day one law student to study a year three textbook.

    Alex
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9459875].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Thanks for your time Alex, I appreciate it.

      That's a great point and something I was thinking about while writing the page.

      A couple of things had me stumped about how to handle that.

      First, I thought about putting a disclaimer of sorts just before the copy pointing that out, but I thought it would detract from the letter itself. My thought was that the title up top would also be the title of the page so it would look odd having that title, a disclaimer, then the copy.

      One way around it was to put the disclaimer at the bottom. But after thinking on that as well, I'd hate for someone to come across it on a google search and miss the disclaimer and think that copying the letters was all they had to do as well.

      So do you think I should change the focus of the letter, making it clear that this is simply one step of many that a person needs to do? Or would an up front disclaimer of sorts, pointing out that it is simply a letter using what I've been learning be best?

      Or do you mean something else entirely?

      Btw, I'm kinda partial to idea of putting my signature caution at the top of the page as a disclaimer of sorts. Maybe that would solve it?
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9460693].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post


        So do you think I should change the focus of the letter, making it clear that this is simply one step of many that a person needs to do? Or would an up front disclaimer of sorts, pointing out that it is simply a letter using what I've been learning be best?

        Or do you mean something else entirely?

        Btw, I'm kinda partial to idea of putting my signature caution at the top of the page as a disclaimer of sorts. Maybe that would solve it?
        Since your goal is to become a copywriter, your best bet would be to take the information you're learning and write sales copy for an actual product or service.

        The best way to learn copywriting from scratch is to follow a basic template and write a sales letter while you're learning.

        Either that or perform a Vulcan Mind Meld on an "A-List" copywriter.


        Alex
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462655].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          Since your goal is to become a copywriter, your best bet would be to take the information you're learning and write sales copy for an actual product or service.

          The best way to learn copywriting from scratch is to follow a basic template and write a sales letter while you're learning.

          Either that or perform a Vulcan Mind Meld on an "A-List" copywriter.

          Alex
          NICE... Spock always was my favorite character. Point me to the WSO, my PayPal suddenly has a bit too much money sitting in it.

          As far as writing copy for a real product, I'll do that. I'll also follow a template the next time.

          I'd been reading over at Seth's site and have picked up a lot, but I didn't follow that advice so that will be my next step.

          And for everyone else, I just wanted to say don't worry. I'm a quick study so all your comments won't go to waste.

          Generally, you only have to tell me something 30 or 40 times before I start to get it. Then you'll start to see results

          Seriously though, I appreciate the time everyone has given here.
          Signature
          I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

          **CAUTION**
          Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
          You've been warned.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463571].message }}
  • Tracy,

    It is very well written. Can't fault your word flow, phrasing and structure.

    I really enjoyed reading it, didn't need to skim and every sentence had impact.

    What a brilliant promise at the beginning.

    Can you imagine what it would it be like to have uninterrupted access to some of the greatest copywriting minds in history?

    A hook and a half.

    The excitement continued to build almost to a fever pitch. Even I thought I was about to get the keys to the secret copywriting treasure chest.

    But then a bit of a disappointment when you discover you have to write out the letters.

    I get the idea -

    But please put as much "bang" into the benefits of doing it as you did with the opening.


    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9460708].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Thanks, I'll have to think that one over. I get what you are saying, and don't disagree, I'm just not sure what kind of bang to give.

      I'll be stewing over this today at work.

      Thanks again

      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Tracy,

      It is very well written. Nobody can fault your word flow, phrasing and structure.

      I really enjoyed reading it, didn't need to skim and the words had impact.

      The problem was the "pitch"

      What a fabulous promise at the beginning.

      Can you imagine what it would it be like to have uninterrupted access to some of the greatest copywriting minds in history?

      A hook and a half.

      But a bit of a disappointment when the good discover they have to write out the letters.

      I get the idea - but please put as much "bang" into the benefits of doing it as you did with the opening.


      Steve
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9460737].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author GarrettLST
    Hi Tracy,

    The intro is good. You're engaging by asking a question. One thing I would watch out for is being too "hypey". I've seen so many products that I wouldn't buy because it sounds too good to be true. If you are going to make a big promise of endless amounts of cash, I would immediately follow that up by a damaging admission statement. "Even if you don't make $2,000 per week you will still dramatically boost your sales in 30 days"

    To me that sounds more believable.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9460739].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by GarrettLST View Post

      Hi Tracy,

      The intro is good. You're engaging by asking a question. One thing I would watch out for is being too "hypey". I've seen so many products that I wouldn't buy because it sounds too good to be true. If you are going to make a big promise of endless amounts of cash, I would immediately follow that up by a damaging admission statement. "Even if you don't make $2,000 per week you will still dramatically boost your sales in 30 days"

      To me that sounds more believable.
      That's a good idea, I'll keep that in mind for rewrites and future letters. Thanks
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462346].message }}
  • The snag us copywriters have is…

    We end up making the "pitch" better than the "product."

    So, we need to elevate the "product" to be as good or even better than the "pitch."

    That way everyone is in a state of sheer XTC.


    Steve


    P.S. Tracy’s conquest could be helped if he ferreted about for some research by a world renowned neuro scientist who conclusively proves the hand writing of “letters” fuses the concepts, style and techniques into your brain never to be forgotten.

    And lets you develop your own unique style which is now 1,9757.9% more potent because you have all the phenomenal power wired in.

    He could add a damaging admission (to prevent any over hype) by saying the one problem could be that your hand could drop off – so only write them for an hour a day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9460781].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    Steve, thanks again.

    That's a great direction. Thanks for the ideas.

    Btw, I'm actually a guy. Guess I'll have to get a manlier avatar. Maybe Photoshop some guns on front?
    Signature
    I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

    **CAUTION**
    Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
    You've been warned.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9461205].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post


    It's Like Having A Master Copywriter In Your Back Pocket

    Can you imagine what it would it be like to have uninterrupted access to some of the greatest copywriting minds in history? What could you accomplish if the masters were at your beck and call? With the Kings of Copywriting at your disposal, you can have the world hang on your every word while shoving fistfuls of dollars into your wallet.

    That's what will happen when you use the information found on this page:

    • Do you wish you could have people stepping over themselves to send you money simply because you told them to in just the right way? Watch as the greats weave a web of words, turning the tightest wallet into the Niagara Falls of cash flowing straight to the bank.
    • Have you ever wondered what the gurus have that you don't? What makes them rake in sale after sale, seemingly with ease, while you struggle to get the few on your list to notice you exist? Learn how they craft letters allowing them to lead people into doing exactly as they say, when they say, making millions in the process.


    Using the tools on this page, you'll learn to write in a way that will have people hanging onto your every word until you say "Buy Now". And they will.

    Here's how.
    Here's where the disconnect happened for me. I like your style. Your word choice is fairly powerful and very visual/visceral. That's good. The flow needs work, as does the payoff.

    I don't get the transition bolded above - that's what will happen:
    The colon implies you're going to list things, but the phrasing is unclear. Are you listing the things on the page? Are you listing the things that will happen? What are you telling your reader?

    Why do the bullets that follow start with questions? If you're telling someone something, why not just make them sentences?

    I am a fan of using questions, myself. It makes it easier to join the conversation in their heads. But there's a fine line between intriguing questions and sounding like you're asking A LOT of questions...why would an expert do that?

    Use your questions strategically. Use them to pique interest and direct them down a thought path they'd really very much like to explore. Then give them enough of the answer to that question that they have questions for you revolving around spending their hard-earned cash.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9461233].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Here's where the disconnect happened for me. I like your style. Your word choice is fairly powerful and very visual/visceral. That's good. The flow needs work, as does the payoff.
      Yeah, I was concerned it was falling a bit flat myself, but wasn't sure how to handle it since I'm not actually selling anything. To be honest, I thought that the overall purpose of the blog would make that obvious to readers. I'll explain a bit more in response to Splittest below about what I'm going to try and do.

      But, I also agree with you guys so I'm going to see what I can come up with.

      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      I don't get the transition bolded above - that's what will happen:
      The colon implies you're going to list things, but the phrasing is unclear. Are you listing the things on the page? Are you listing the things that will happen? What are you telling your reader?

      Why do the bullets that follow start with questions? If you're telling someone something, why not just make them sentences?
      The transition was meant to come from the sentence above, explaining how you too could have people shoving fistfuls of dollars into your pocket if....

      The bullets were my attempt at using what I was learning from the promotion Rick Duris did. Doesn't appear I did it very effectively though. They were to give you an idea of what you would see the greats do in their letters. Well, the results anyway.

      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      I am a fan of using questions, myself. It makes it easier to join the conversation in their heads. But there's a fine line between intriguing questions and sounding like you're asking A LOT of questions...why would an expert do that?

      Use your questions strategically. Use them to pique interest and direct them down a thought path they'd really very much like to explore. Then give them enough of the answer to that question that they have questions for you revolving around spending their hard-earned cash.
      Point taken, and you are right. That's a lot of questions, especially for the length.
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462363].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Are the swipes free? Or is it an opt-in thing? If not, how will you measure results?

    And why would you have to "sell" free swipes?

    Most people who are learning the craft won't have to be sold much on free swipes... Know where your audience is in the buying process.

    You're using a hammer on a thumbtack.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9461500].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by splitTest View Post

      Are the swipes free? Or is it an opt-in thing? If not, how will you measure results?

      And why would you have to "sell" free swipes?

      Most people who are learning the craft won't have to be sold much on free swipes... Know where your audience is in the buying process.

      You're using a hammer on a thumbtack.
      Maybe a bit more explaining about the blog would help.

      The blog is mostly for me to practice on. A tool to help myself learn. I believe to accomplish my goals that I need to learn to build an effective website. I also believe that learning to write effective copy (not just webpage copy, but sales copy) will be a valuable tool.

      On top of that, as I read this forum, the various books and other materials, I'm getting more and more interested in the possibility of actually writing letters myself. I don't know that I'll actually make that transition as a career, but if I'm going to do it, I may as well go all out.

      I really am enjoying the creativity that comes with it.

      Anyway, when I put the page together for the swipe files I'm writing out I wrote it sorta bland like many other web pages.

      But after reading through it and making changes here and there I still wasn't happy. It was dry and wordy. I don't mind wordy too much, but it wasn't really interesting.

      So I thought, why not write this in "sales letter" format? After all, it's one of my main purposes of the blog.

      The whole time I was writing it I kept thinking, as you did, that it wasn't going to live up to the letter in the end, but as I stated above, I wasn't sure how to overcome that. Other than disclaimers, etc. Well, that and the fact that most readers (if any, lol) should know what it's all about by the time they get to the swipe page anyway.

      But that doesn't really take into account people coming straight in from a google search or something.

      So long story short, you are right. Overkill. I'm still considering how to handle that, and Steve gave a great idea.
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462379].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by splitTest View Post


      And why would you have to "sell" free swipes?
      Persuading a reader to take ANY action is referred to as a "sale" when copywriters talk among themselves.

      Sell the click. Sell the opt-in. Etc.

      Alex
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462624].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author splitTest
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        Persuading a reader to take ANY action is referred to as a "sale" when copywriters talk among themselves.

        Sell the click. Sell the opt-in. Etc.

        Alex
        Obviously.

        But my point again was your pitch should reflect where your customer is in the buying process. I doubt if it takes a long, winding letter to "sell" aspiring copywriters on free swipes.

        Sometimes the right copy is a 20-page sales letter. Sometimes it's a pic of the product above "buy 1 get 1 free."

        This letter could've begun with the reference to Halbert, instead of the long wind-up and vague headline.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9487878].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    Angie, thanks. I'll reply when I get home and can type.

    Splittest, I'm not selling anything, which is part of why I'm falling flat at the back end on this.

    I'll explain better when I get home and to a keyboard.
    Signature
    I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

    **CAUTION**
    Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
    You've been warned.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9461532].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Here's an idea: practice on your blog by deconstructing winning pieces.

    It will help make it easier, and help you avoid mixing messages in your blog. Forget about selling in your blog for right now. If you want to use it to learn, deconstruct success. Take formulas from Copyblogger and other thought leaders and practice until you run out of steam. Examples:pick a product you love and wrote every bullet you can think of, no matter how lame they may seem. Pick a marketing email you got recently. See how many subject lines you can come up with.

    Those are great for self education, but the real LEARNING comes from trying the techniques you learned and failing. Failure is a fantastic teacher. Bring some of your attempts here like you've just done, or better yet, start selling your services. I think you've got that spark. Just don't get caught in the perpetual student trap. At some point ya just gotta go.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462409].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Here's an idea: practice on your blog by deconstructing winning pieces.

      It will help make it easier, and help you avoid mixing messages in your blog. Forget about selling in your blog for right now. If you want to use it to learn, deconstruct success. Take formulas from Copyblogger and other thought leaders and practice until you run out of steam. Examples:pick a product you love and wrote every bullet you can think of, no matter how lame they may seem. Pick a marketing email you got recently. See how many subject lines you can come up with.

      Those are great for self education, but the real LEARNING comes from trying the techniques you learned and failing. Failure is a fantastic teacher. Bring some of your attempts here like you've just done, or better yet, start selling your services. I think you've got that spark. Just don't get caught in the perpetual student trap. At some point ya just gotta go.
      Thanks Angie, I'll try those tips. I have also been reading (yeah, I know I need to do more than read, which is the point of the blog) quite a bit at Seths site. Don't blame my flaws on him though, lol. And it's a great resource.

      But I'm not sure about the deconstructing idea though. I'm not quite sure how I'd do that not knowing a whole lot about it to begin with. So far, the only deconstruction I've seen is the one on the Amazon phone.

      I'll need to look into that more and give it a try.

      Thanks again for your advice. It's much appreciated.
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462431].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        Thanks Angie, I'll try those tips. I have also been reading (yeah, I know I need to do more than read, which is the point of the blog) quite a bit at Seths site. Don't blame my flaws on him though, lol. And it's a great resource.

        But I'm not sure about the deconstructing idea though. I'm not quite sure how I'd do that not knowing a whole lot about it to begin with. So far, the only deconstruction I've seen is the one on the Amazon phone.

        I'll need to look into that more and give it a try.

        Thanks again for your advice. It's much appreciated.
        Deconstructing is easier than it looks.

        It's taking something that spoke to you, whether it reached you or totally turned you off, and taking it apart to figure out why.

        The Amazon Fire Phone letter you saw? That's an example of a letter read that turned a copywriter off, to the point that he felt compelled to break it down into parts that could have been done better.

        Ross Bowring has done the strong sales letter breakdown very well with his Stripped Naked Sales Letters.

        Part of being a successful copywriter is understanding WHY thing need to be structured one way for a certain audience and completely different for another. It's knowing which words will have the most impact, when and how to use them.

        And I'll reiterate - I'm a big fan of learning by doing.

        There's no quicker teacher than going out there, knocking on doors, making a sale, and having to DO the work. We can always help you out there, ya know.
        Signature

        Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462700].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          The way I learn best is seeing what top performing
          pitches are doing that are transferable.

          Is the headline and opening
          using proof and promise.

          Is there a damaging admission.

          Is the hook a gain or removal of pain.

          Has the readers existing knowledge
          been considered. .

          Is there new information told or eluding to.

          How much lead into the big promise is used
          so as the reader finds acceptable

          Is there a bare bones proposition in the lead.

          Is there helpful information being shared.

          Is there play on good guy, bad guy.

          Is there warning of impending danger.

          Is it coming from a editorial slant.

          What's the dominant appeal.

          Is this appeal been used before in this market.

          Is the message different to other players in the market.

          How specific is it.

          Is it using a winning opening in another market.

          How far is believability being pushed.

          Is it a curiosity opener.

          Is this a new approach to this market.

          Is the approach never seen before.

          Is there a combination of 2 approaches
          that have never been combined before.

          Is there sensory word choices used.

          Can I see how this approach would work in another market

          How many benefits are being used.

          Is there a benefit of a benefit.

          Is there product or service elevation.

          Is it specific to a a group.

          Is it specific to timing of a buying decision.

          Is an objection being handled.
          --------------------------------------------------------------------

          After doing this for a while you can see
          which is best to go where.

          Your skills become much more valuable
          because you create more certainty of
          market message success.

          Best
          Ewen
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462997].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            The way I learn best is seeing what top performing
            pitches are doing that are transferable.

            **clip for length**
            --------------------------------------------------------------------

            After doing this for a while you can see
            which is best to go where.

            Your skills become much more valuable
            because you create more certainty of
            market message success.

            Best
            Ewen
            Thanks Ewen, I'll use this while learning more about deconstructing ads. It'll be very useful.
            Signature
            I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

            **CAUTION**
            Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
            You've been warned.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463589].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

          Deconstructing is easier than it looks.

          It's taking something that spoke to you, whether it reached you or totally turned you off, and taking it apart to figure out why.

          The Amazon Fire Phone letter you saw? That's an example of a letter read that turned a copywriter off, to the point that he felt compelled to break it down into parts that could have been done better.

          Ross Bowring has done the strong sales letter breakdown very well with his Stripped Naked Sales Letters.

          Part of being a successful copywriter is understanding WHY thing need to be structured one way for a certain audience and completely different for another. It's knowing which words will have the most impact, when and how to use them.

          And I'll reiterate - I'm a big fan of learning by doing.

          There's no quicker teacher than going out there, knocking on doors, making a sale, and having to DO the work. We can always help you out there, ya know.
          Thanks again.

          After reading your post last night I spent an hour or so before going to bed looking for some examples of deconstruction. I was a bit worried at first because it appeared all I was going to find was people taking things apart based on their individual moralistic views of the message a particular piece was putting across.

          Not very helpful, lol. I mean, who wants to hear that the ad with the scantily clad women hanging all over the guy because of his hair gel is bad because of the image it gives to young women? I'm half bald and I'm going to get me some hair gel.

          (sorry ladies, I don't mean any disrespect)

          Anyway, thanks for the link, I'll be reading through that in my spare time at work today. May as well accomplish something of value while I'm getting paid.

          And thanks for the offer of help. You have no idea how much I appreciate everyone's input and willingness to help.
          Signature
          I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

          **CAUTION**
          Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
          You've been warned.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463581].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    Tracy,

    Thank you for your PM.

    I would suggest you read this. Customer Behavior - 12-Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template : MarketingProfs Article
    Follow that formula and it will reveal a better flow within your work. Write a handful of 300-400 word sales letters each day for things sitting on your desk, within eyesight.

    It won't be genius but it will train your mind.

    Hope this helps.

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462933].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by JamesDLayton View Post

      Write a handful of 300-400 word sales letters each day for things sitting on your desk, within eyesight.

      It won't be genius but it will train your mind.

      Hope this helps.

      James
      Thanks James. As I said, I've enjoyed following your progress and I'm more then happy to have you pop in and offer your thoughts.

      I'll give that a go as well. Never really thought of doing it that way and it makes sense. Thanks for the link as well. More material for work today
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463585].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    I second Angie.

    Throw an offer on Fiverr and jump in. You'd be shocked at how fast you learn when someone threatens to take 300 bones out of your account

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9462937].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by JamesDLayton View Post

      I second Angie.

      Throw an offer on Fiverr and jump in. You'd be shocked at how fast you learn when someone threatens to take 300 bones out of your account

      James
      Or take a top performing offer on Fiverr
      and resell it elsewhere and make more money
      for less work.

      Best,
      Ewen
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463170].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Or take a top performing offer on Fiverr
        and resell it elsewhere and make more money
        for less work.

        Best,
        Ewen
        Nice idea but of no help to the OP.

        James
        Signature
        "We are what we think about
        all day long." - Earl Nightingale
        One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463506].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by JamesDLayton View Post

      I second Angie.

      Throw an offer on Fiverr and jump in. You'd be shocked at how fast you learn when someone threatens to take 300 bones out of your account

      James
      Except I'd never recommend Fiverr

      It's not great in terms of quality clients, so I don't value it as a teaching tool. It also seriously undervalues what we do on the whole.
      Signature

      Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463645].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
        Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

        on the whole.


        Couldn't resist.

        James
        Signature
        "We are what we think about
        all day long." - Earl Nightingale
        One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464037].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

    So I've started putting together a blog as a way to bring some focus to my learning.

    My goal is to learn more about marketing online as well as copywriting.

    What I'm posting below is going to be my swipe file page. At first, it started as a rather bland page talking about the swipes and their uses and would eventually link to various swipes I've ran across and copied out for myself.

    But after my last go round I decided I may as well use each page as a sort of letter in itself. To use each page as an actual practice for writing compelling copy.

    Let me know what you think.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    It’s Like Having A Master Copywriter In Your Back Pocket

    Can you imagine what it would it be like to have uninterrupted access to some of the greatest copywriting minds in history? What could you accomplish if the masters were at your beck and call? With the Kings of Copywriting at your disposal, you can have the world hang on your every word while shoving fistfuls of dollars into your wallet.
    Hey Tracy, this ^ intro had me hooked, but you missed the sweet spot right here...

    Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

    That's what will happen when you use the information found on this page:
    • Do you wish you could have people stepping over themselves to send you money simply because you told them to in just the right way? Watch as the greats weave a web of words, turning the tightest wallet into the Niagara Falls of cash flowing straight to the bank.
    • Have you ever wondered what the gurus have that you don't? What makes them rake in sale after sale, seemingly with ease, while you struggle to get the few on your list to notice you exist? Learn how they craft letters allowing them to lead people into doing exactly as they say, when they say, making millions in the process.
    ...that would have been the perfect place for an "If then..." anchor, like I talk about in Cashflow Copywriting under the skill of Presence. It's like you wound up for the knock out punch with the intro, got perfectly positioned for it, but when the perfect window came to strike, you stepped back and did more windup.

    Check out the "infomercial lead" strategy in my Cashflow Swipe File, under "Connection," see how it transitions to the pitch. Also, the "if then.." anchor in the presence section of Cashflow Copywriting. That's show you where to land the first blow and where to go next.

    That bullet point list you have in there now is good, but I'd suggest saving it for your closing pitch.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463351].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

      Hey Tracy, this ^ intro had me hooked, but you missed the sweet spot right here...



      ...that would have been the perfect place for an "If then..." anchor, like I talk about in Cashflow Copywriting under the skill of Presence. It's like you wound up for the knock out punch with the intro, got perfectly positioned for it, but when the perfect window came to strike, you stepped back and did more windup.

      Check out the "infomercial lead" strategy in my Cashflow Swipe File, under "Connection," see how it transitions to the pitch. Also, the "if then.." anchor in the presence section of Cashflow Copywriting. That's show you where to land the first blow and where to go next.

      That bullet point list you have in there now is good, but I'd suggest saving it for your closing pitch.
      Thank you Seth, the bolded part really helped me get what everyone is saying.

      I've been reading pretty heavily at your site and you have some GREAT material. Seeing how it applies to what I wrote really helps.

      I'll try and make you look better next time
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463599].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        I'll try and make you look better next time
        Hey, it's my job to make YOU look better too.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463943].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

          Hey, it's my job to make YOU look better too.
          You already have. You and the others here have shown me what sorts of things to focus on and have given me a direction.

          I'd have never thought to use my own writing to make money (real money) a month ago.
          Signature
          I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

          **CAUTION**
          Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
          You've been warned.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464831].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    So I was reading your post and wondering WTH this was all about.

    Best I can figure you're doing a site with swipes or something and you want others to join or what?

    Makes no sense.

    Made it a point not to read the comments that followed your post, but I'm not understanding your request for a critique. Critique what? Your thing about swipe files?

    Is this a money maker or just a blog thing you're pumping?

    Who in the heck are you trying to get to sign up, copywriter newbies?

    Guess I just don't get the drama thing you have going on.

    Yeah, ok, if you're not trying to make money off this who cares if it sucks? If you're trying to make money...it sucks.

    Get your own product...write some copy for it and sell it. If it doesn't sell, figure out if you have the wrong idea of what the market wants or if you have the wrong idea of how to market it. I did a post on this before.

    My biggest suggestion from what I've read...get a mentor...either Seth or Angie or someone that offers it, and go from there...

    walks off mumbling...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463766].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by max5ty;9463766

      Yeah, ok, if you're not trying to make money off this [B

      who cares if it sucks?[/B] If you're trying to make money...it sucks.
      .
      Well, clearly I care. But for the rest of your questions, I've answered them in the thread.

      Short version, the blog is my practicing grounds and I'm not selling anything.

      I do appreciate your thoughts though. It definitely tells me I need to be more clear up front. Not just in my copy attempts, but in my discussion within the forum.

      Thanks

      Edited to add...the blog is not public. None of it is live. Right now it's for me for training. Who knows, maybe one day it will be, but for now it's my training ground.
      Signature
      I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

      **CAUTION**
      Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
      You've been warned.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463870].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        Well, clearly I care. But for the rest of your questions, I've answered them in the thread.

        Short version, the blog is my practicing grounds and I'm not selling anything.

        I do appreciate your thoughts though. It definitely tells me I need to be more clear up front. Not just in my copy attempts, but in my discussion within the forum.

        Thanks
        There's no need to sit around and spin your wheels. I did a post on here some time ago about how to make money if you didn't have a product.

        You can go from where you are now to making an easy 20 grand a month just using the tips I gave in my post.

        20 grand a month on one product...then keep doing it over and over...and you're making some good money.

        Start right where you're at. You don't need a lot of skills. Test stuff. Sell stuff. Get going.

        Only your lack of determination keeps you were you're at.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463886].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
          Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

          There's no need to sit around and spin your wheels. I did a post on here some time ago about how to make money if you didn't have a product.

          You can go from where you are now to making an easy 20 grand a month just using the tips I gave in my post.

          20 grand a month on one product...then keep doing it over and over...and you're making some good money.

          Start right where you're at. You don't need a lot of skills. Test stuff. Sell stuff. Get going.

          Only your lack of determination keeps you were you're at.
          I second this with a qualifier.

          I was where you're at not very long ago at all, in the scheme of things.

          I remember other copywriters pushing me very hard to take action, to do things and get paid while learning.

          I remember pushing back very hard because I was still in a very "get an education, THEN do" mindset. Can't help it, it's how I was raised.

          The truth is, there's no such thing as "when I'm ready...". It's always going to be a leap of faith, a work in progress.

          It's scary as ****, but the quicker you make the leap, the more money you earn and the more you learn.

          I wish today's me could have gone back and bitch slapped two-years-ago-me in the face and just said GET TO WORK WOMAN.
          Signature

          Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9463984].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author max5ty
            Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

            I second this with a qualifier.

            I was where you're at not very long ago at all, in the scheme of things.

            I remember other copywriters pushing me very hard to take action, to do things and get paid while learning.

            I remember pushing back very hard because I was still in a very "get an education, THEN do" mindset. Can't help it, it's how I was raised.

            The truth is, there's no such thing as "when I'm ready...". It's always going to be a leap of faith, a work in progress.

            It's scary as ****, but the quicker you make the leap, the more money you earn and the more you learn.

            I wish today's me could have gone back and bitch slapped two-years-ago-me in the face and just said GET TO WORK WOMAN.
            It's amazing because we talk about mind sets and goals and this and that...we go to seminars and seminars about making money, then we look for groups to join and all that jazz. We read every book someone mentions, we download every free PDF. We visit sites that we can download free stuff that shouldn't be free...

            Sooner or later the only thing that will change the thing you're hoping to change is action. Most are wanting to make more money...

            It's as easy as pie. You can start right now today.

            Once you actually start doing what will get you to your goal, you begin to look at all the other "talkers" as merely "talkers".

            This stuff can be so easy, but yet so hard.

            Just start doing. If you don't know what to sell, there's a million things to sell. It's so simple.

            I see so many posts where everyone has an idea on how to do something. Take the info that works for you and discard the other stuff...just do something.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464012].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          I definitely appreciate this advice. Not to discount it or anything, I'm just going to point out I literally just started looking into improving my writing.

          Other then some personal blogs I did for myself and fun, my writing experience is mostly what I've posted here. I worked for an advocacy group doing political calls and writing letters (from the constituent on the phone to their representative) for a bit, but nothing that would be creative.

          What I know of writing is what I've learned from reading a ton of books over the years. Not books on writing, until the past month, but just your normal scifi and fantasy or Stephen King type stuff, lol.

          That's what I've been focused on learning this past couple months due to what I've learned here on the forums.

          I'm definitely not planning on spinning my wheels, but I'd like to practice a bit before trying to charge for anything at my current skill level.

          I'll move forward soon and I'm definitely not complaining about not making any money yet. But I should probably do as some have posted here and at least write out something that sells a real product first, don't you think?

          Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

          There's no need to sit around and spin your wheels. I did a post on here some time ago about how to make money if you didn't have a product.

          You can go from where you are now to making an easy 20 grand a month just using the tips I gave in my post.

          20 grand a month on one product...then keep doing it over and over...and you're making some good money.

          Start right where you're at. You don't need a lot of skills. Test stuff. Sell stuff. Get going.

          Only your lack of determination keeps you were you're at.
          Signature
          I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

          **CAUTION**
          Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
          You've been warned.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464827].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author IDoTheLegWork
          Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

          There's no need to sit around and spin your wheels. I did a post on here some time ago about how to make money if you didn't have a product.
          any way you remember the title? How long ago? Anything that
          would help the search engine here?
          Signature

          ..and you WILL contribute a verse.
          Indifference is the enemy that must be conquered.
          Appeal to the crowd by addressing the person.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464888].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    I brighten this place up if nothing else

    Love you Angie darling

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9464063].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9465194].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Look at this thread. Read it all again.

    Now remove yourself from the picture. Honestly. Completely remove you. Sub in a nameless, faceless, aspiring copywriter.

    This anonymous copywriter has come here with a decent foundation, a way with words, and an innate talent. Sure, this anonymous so-and-so has some challenges ahead. Anonymous knows this, acknowledges it, vows to get better.

    Are you telling me anonymous should practice unpaid?

    Or are you ready to remove fear from the equation and get that money, honey?

    You're already running circles around the jerk-offs who think lame articles are miracle copy that'll make us all overnight millionaires.

    You've crawled. You've walked. Get ready to run. You can improve your stride as you work it out.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9465216].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    The biggest fear most people have going into the world is this.

    Am I Good Enough?

    And if I'm NOT....

    Will people mock me?

    Thing is nobody knows everything. Even the highest paid (Dan Kennedy earns 18k a day just to TALK about sales copy) get it wrong.

    And you know what? If you cock it up so what? Most people understand your position. They will let you set the record straight.

    Nobody is going to put a gun in your mouth and blow your face off because your ad sucked like a Dyson.

    If it does suck.

    Say sorry and put it right.

    You know when I came here a month ago I pissed off A LOT of people. I said sorry. I learned from my mistakes and moved on.

    Sorry and "Let me try again" are hugely powerful tools.

    I mean I understand the need for ability (talent doesn't swing with me, I worked in the film industry and work vs talent? Work wins) but don't let it suffocate you.

    Looking at your work, if you follow that 12 step template for a product of your choice and throw it up here you will have better copy than me. That's the truth.

    I am NOT a great copywriter, but I am getting paid to write copy (not of Fiverr either). Am I looking to become THE BEST COPYWRITER IN THE WORLD!! ?

    Nope.... I am working toward a set 6 figure goal within 2 years. That's what I need to do what I need to do in life. And nothing will stop me getting there. So do it. You have the ability and that ability is 100% better than 99% of ALL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS.

    Think about that. Think about that other thread. Think.....

    Small business. Pulls 200k a year. Writes shitty ads. You.... re-write shitty ads. Small business pulls 300k a year. You take a percentage.

    I have just signed a deal with a huge UK charity and I'm hounding a pizza chain today (they will be mine.... oh yes... they will be mine).... based on my "skills" I should be sweeping streets.

    Yeah f**k that with a big donkey dick.

    The End.

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9465222].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    Angie and James, all I can say is Thank You (and thank you again, everyone else).

    I'll get moving forward.

    And James, good luck on your pizza gig. I'm looking forward to seeing your success.
    Signature
    I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

    **CAUTION**
    Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
    You've been warned.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9465814].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    So sorry Max5ty I got my wires crossed. Thank you for posting the correct link.

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9465829].message }}

Trending Topics